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Does Anyone Else Here Think Sabermetrics is a Sham?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by digglahhh
    Numbers are never objective. The ancient Greek Pythagoreans and Monists prove that long before baseball was even conceived. To provide a gratuitous example, the Exxon Valdez spills and creates all sorts of destruction. We are forced to commission U.S. clean-up services. That leads to increased GDP. Now, the numbers say drunken captains of oil ships are good for the economy- you do the math.
    That's absolutely not what economics says.

    The #1 problem I have with "traditionalist" stats critics: When they criticize stats guys of things which stats guys don't do.

    A guy on the MLB.com message board said something like, "Yeah, well if you just went by the numbers, you'd have to give the MVP award to Todd Helton every year, so if you don't think Todd Helton deserves the MVP award you're saying numbers aren't very important you hypocrite!"
    "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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    • #62
      That leads to increased GDP. Now, the numbers say drunken captains of oil ships are good for the economy- you do the math.
      I think what's most subjective isn't using number, but using numbers when you have a very limited understanding of them.

      I'm going to use this specific example to prove my point. Yes, if suppose there is an Exxon spill. The government has to spend lots of money to clean that up. They spend that money on many private services. This leads to increased spending. Then by the multiplier, GDP will rise some amount. It's Keynesian economics.

      But here's what you're forgetting: its called opportunity cost. After all, if I spend $100 on say a TV then I am benefitting. But if I could have bought that same TV from BestBuy for $50, then my spending money was inefficient, and and I lost $50 on an opportunity cost. So when the government, with its finite resources, has to spend some of its resources on cleaning up an oil spill, it has less resources to do other stuff what might have improved the economy even better (and not messed up the environment).

      If you are trying to argue that anyone would seriously use numbers in the way you just used them, then I suggest you take a step back and try to understand the numbers -- that's most important.

      For example, can you tell the difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter by looking at them play for a really long time? The former is an average player, the latter a perennial all star. And the answer is no, you cannot, because the difference between them is 1-2 hits a week. Unless you are recording down both their hits and their ABs (statistic analysis), then your eye alone is too bad and subjective to differentiate.

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      • #63
        Well, first of all that is exactly how the government uses numbers and economics. It creates problems, or neglects to prevent them and, then hands off lucrative contracts to those who financed the campaigns to "fix" the problems. Its a win/win situation- its called pork barrelling and its the prime objective of a plutocracy. Those of use familiar with the streets recognize it as money laundering. Enough about that though.

        And I know that the difference between a .275 hitter and .300 hitter is slim, 1 or 2 hits a week. But watching those hitters over time you can tell things the numbers don't. Whose having that good ABs, what are the context of those hits.

        Assume those two hitters are rookies. The guy who hit .300 this year, may really be more of a .275 hitter, while the guy who hit .275 may really be a .300 hitter. You can tell this by watching a player but not by a stat sheet.

        I wholeheartedly agree that people must understand the numbers they use. Many of them don't understand the limitations and scope of either traditional or sabermetric stats.
        THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

        In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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        • #64
          Originally posted by ssbguyincognito
          I think what's most subjective isn't using number, but using numbers when you have a very limited understanding of them.

          I'm going to use this specific example to prove my point. Yes, if suppose there is an Exxon spill. The government has to spend lots of money to clean that up. They spend that money on many private services. This leads to increased spending. Then by the multiplier, GDP will rise some amount. It's Keynesian economics.

          But here's what you're forgetting: its called opportunity cost. After all, if I spend $100 on say a TV then I am benefitting. But if I could have bought that same TV from BestBuy for $50, then my spending money was inefficient, and and I lost $50 on an opportunity cost. So when the government, with its finite resources, has to spend some of its resources on cleaning up an oil spill, it has less resources to do other stuff what might have improved the economy even better (and not messed up the environment).

          If you are trying to argue that anyone would seriously use numbers in the way you just used them, then I suggest you take a step back and try to understand the numbers -- that's most important.
          Not to mention the fact that it's a hugely negative environmental externality, damages public goods, probably damages market infrastructure (like, the road itself; hence, transactions costs go up and many investments in the immediate future don't have positive net present value), the oil in the spill wasn't sold, the people who were going to buy the oil can't buy it; hence, production gets slowed down... the list goes on and on.
          "Hall of Famer Whitey Ford now on the field... pleading with the crowd for, for some kind of sanity!"

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          • #65
            Do you people live in the United States?

            C'mon, Ipod, I expect more from you. Its patently obvious that this is the United States' dominant economic model. How come we didn't pony up the pittance it would have cost to fix the levys in NO. Who's got the contracts to rebuild? And don't confuse this with Keynsian economics, that's not what JMK had in mind.

            What's up with this bird flu? Check out Ashcroft's massive stock holdings in the pharma company that has the patent on the drug that will be perscribed to treat it.

            Where are the cats on this forum from other countries, its a shame, but they are usually more educated on US economic and foreign policy than we are.

            Numbers will tell whatever story we want them to, baseball, economics, whatever. Let the buyer beware!
            THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

            In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

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            • #66
              Originally posted by digglahhh
              Matt,

              I am talking about people I played ball with, make-ups of teams that I played on and how they got better at times without some of our most skilled players. I realize that this is anectdotal evidence, and, as a researche,r I know it proves nothing except the mere existence of the phenomenon, but this did happen.

              You can't tell me otherwise. You don't have a system to grade the play of my high school teammates and recreational league partners. It has nothing to do with heart/hustle- its just about cohesion. You don't just take your favorite foods and put them in a pot and expect it to taste good because it has "the best" ingredients.
              If it isn't amenable to a formula, then a stat geek will automatically repudiate it as an ephermal figment of one's imagination or chalk it up to some effusive sentimentality. "If we can't put an absolute number on it or put it in a formula, it isn't real"

              No use banging your head against the wall because all someone knows/sees/understands/cares about is NUMBERS.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by csh19792001
                If it isn't amenable to a formula, then a stat geek will automatically repudiate it as an ephermal figment of one's imagination or chalk it up to some effusive sentimentality. "If we can't put an absolute number on it or put it in a formula, it isn't real"

                No use banging your head against the wall because all someone knows/sees/understands/cares about is NUMBERS.


                And this is the reason why you're sadly misinformed on the purpose of Sabermetrics. For starters, you've placed an incorrect classification on a Sabermetrician.

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                • #68
                  For future reference: Before any of you decide to speak out against Sabermetrics and Sabermetricians, please do an impartial research on the topic first. Theres way too many stereotypes being thrown around, and I think everyone here who supports Sabermetrics and it's cause should feel like they're wasting their time at this point, considering the fact that the anti's can't even correctly classify the field.

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                  • #69
                    csh...I expected more you...such blanket creedism (think racism but against a creed or philosophy) is beneath you...

                    h

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by SABR Matt
                      csh...I expected more you...such blanket creedism (think racism but against a creed or philosophy) is beneath you...

                      h
                      Originally posted by SABR Matt
                      There is sometimes the perception that a team has lost a B+ player for a B- player and gotten better...that's not really what happens though...generally a team will lose a B+ player and get a player that is commonly thought of as a B- player but is actually an A- or B+ player in his own right when given the chance to play everyday...and gets better.

                      In any event, your comments about your interpretation of my post from a bit back...not once did I reference my own work in that post, so if you interpreted that as me saying "study my work or be condemned to stupidity"...that's your own damned problem...I said you had to study sabermetrics to understand the game fully...not study MY sabermetric research.
                      Since when does one have to study sabermetrics to understand the game of baseball fully? You jumped down Diglahh's throat, and he's one of the most learned, well rounded, and erudite posters here. He simply isn't bound for life to the statistics.

                      It's the imperious air with which "sabermetricians" framed everything (including their work) that causes the derision you've seen.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Originally posted by csh19792001
                        Since when does one have to study sabermetrics to understand the game of baseball fully? You jumped down Diglahh's throat, and he's one of the most learned, well rounded, and erudite posters here. He simply isn't bound for life to the statistics.

                        It's the imperious air with which "sabermetricians" framed everything (including their work) that causes the derision you've seen.

                        You know, your eyes are very subjective.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Listen, I can enjoy the game without the numbers in front of me. However, to fully understand the environment of the game one must analyze. Thats where sabermetrics comes into play. Now, taking digglah for example, he can state that a team of mariginal players can outdo everyone else because they exhibit cohesiveness. However, the reality out of it all is that it's a fallacious assumption.

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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by csh19792001
                            Since when does one have to study sabermetrics to understand the game of baseball fully? You jumped down Diglahh's throat, and he's one of the most learned, well rounded, and erudite posters here. He simply isn't bound for life to the statistics.

                            It's the imperious air with which "sabermetricians" framed everything (including their work) that causes the derision you've seen.
                            I'm sorry Chris...but that's a load of dung. You can understand a lot about baseball, but learning about proability theory and statistics is essential to understanding the theory of team-building and to properly comparing players you've never seen play...I'm sorry if that bothers you, but it's a fact of life...you don't have to be a sabermetrician, or agree with the way sabermetricians choose to interpret the statistics...but you do have to understand the logic behind what they're doing so you can form a proper, well-informed opinion on it...particularly if you're going to spend all of your free time on these forums bashing sabermetrics.

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                            • #74
                              CSH,

                              Thanks for the kind words.

                              Red October,

                              When did I say that, you are twisting my words. I did not say that a team of marginal player's can make up their lack of talent by "heart," "cohesion" or "hustle" or whatever nonsensical contention you are attributing to me today.

                              What I said was that a team is more than a collection of individual players and numbers reflect real, fluid events that take place in a larger context. To look to the numbers to give context to game is putting the proverbial cart before the horse.

                              You wouldn't sacrifice a hit a week for a guy who may be able to teach a teammate how to get three more. That's the glass menagerie that is yur world. The numbers represent the work of people. I sacrifice salary for my personal happiness, for my freedom and in order to adhere to my principles. An evaluation of this decision based upon numbers would classify me as foolish. It would also completely miss the motivating factors of the decision itself.

                              While the school of SABR thought has made many contributions, I firmly believe that many of the advanced metrics were INVENTED, not discovered. There is a very important difference.
                              THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                              In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                Oh and one more thing:

                                If you guys are willing to admit that sabermetrics has problems, and the field is a "work in progress" how am I off base in criticizing it in its contemporary form. You guys recognize my criticisms amongst yourselves but won't admit it to one of your critics.

                                You guys can critisize your work, but I can't. Is this like white people not being allowed to say "*****?"
                                THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT COME WITH A SCORECARD

                                In the avy: AZ - Doe or Die

                                Comment

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